This story has not yet been rated.

by Gavin Paul Carter













Piles of bound books are stacked upon a bedside cabinet. The titles are obscured in the dim light. A candle stands in a holder, and it burns slowly, the wax dripping down onto the books.


A man’s hand reaches across and picks up a bloodied handkerchief resting beside the books, and coughing and wheezing ROBERT places it across his mouth. Robert is frail, and his skin is ashen, sweat is running from his brow. He is dressed in a white nightshirt that is speckled with droplets of blood. His hair is thick and matted, and as he lowers his handkerchief the sweet hangs upon his moustache in beads.


Moonlight shines in from the window, and a man stands in front of it in silhouette. He appears in shadow, a long coat hanging down to his ankles. 


Robert squints through the darkness, he can see the man’s shape through his failing vision.



              It’s you…

                   (Scottish accent)

Always in my dreams.


The shadowy figure steps forward, it is the Doctor, he does not smile, his expression is grim, empty.


                        THE DOCTOR




              Still questioning your

choice? Won’t leave a sick

man in peace?…


                        THE DOCTOR

              It’s about life and death…



                   (Coughs and draws up blood)

              About my life Doctor?


Robert lowers the handkerchief and the blood has stained the material more deeply.


                        THE DOCTOR


A decision had to made.




              Were you right Doctor?


                        THE DOCTOR

              Was I right? What do

you think Robert?



              Only you can answer that…

It’s so long ago Doctor…

Only you know really…


                        THE DOCTOR


              It’s yesterday to me

              Robert… That’s the

              trouble… Sometimes

               it’s only yesterday.




A flashing purple light blazes inside the Tardis. An alarm is also sounding. The Doctor stands at the controls. He is pressing buttons and pulling levers. His Assistant is holding on to the control panel, she looks very worried.


                        THE DOCTOR

              It’s a purple alert.



              Purple… That’s not red



          THE DOCTOR

Red? Red’s nothing…

Purple is three times

as bad as red.


Purples a nice colour.


          THE DOCTOR

We’re making planet fall.                                          



The Tardis materialises on the dead planet, where the sky is rolling with red and yellow fire.


The door of the blue box swings open and the Doctor steps out. He is wearing a pair of tinted goggles. His Assistant follows behind, and she is fumbling with her own pair of goggles. She steps forward and fails to shut the Tardis door, and it remains ajar. 



              Do I have to wear these?


The Doctor ignores her, and gazes out over the endless plains of sand. In the distance he can see a Grandfather Clock sticking sideways out of the sand.


The Doctor slides a silver box from his overcoat and a purple light flashes upon it.


                        THE DOCTOR

              Follow me and stay close.


EXT. THE DEAD PLANET -LATER                    


The Doctor’s Assistant looks down at her arm and she can see that it is going red.


The Doctor stares at the Grandfather Clock, its hands stopped at one second to twelve. He feels something solid beneath his trainers, and bends down and brushes away the sand.



              My arms burning.


The Doctor lifts a glass cylinder from the sand, and stands up. He gazes inside at the swirling black mist. He reads a name inscribed in silver letters at its base. ‘JAN LOUDEN’.


                        THE DOCTOR

              That’s because the planet

is falling into the sun.



              That’s not good…

              Should’ve brought

              some suntan lotion.

What’s that?


Gazing at the glass container…


                        THE DOCTOR

              Our purple alert.  


In the distance a strange black mass is rolling across the sand towards the Tardis.   


                        THE DOCTOR (Cont’d)

              Still contained, so

              the warning came in

time… But…



             But what?


The Doctor crouches down and finds more containers buried in the sand. He lifts out another, but it has a hole at its centre, and the dark energy is no longer contained inside.  The name at its base reads ‘VERON SKAR’.   


The Doctor’s expression drops.


                       THE DOCTOR

            Veron Skar… This is not

good news…   


The Assistant taps the Doctor on the shoulder…


                        THE DOCTOR (Cont’d)



The dark entity has consumed the Tardis, a black snaking cloud has rolled around it and the machine is beginning to shudder, the Doctor drops the container and runs back to the blue box, his assistant follows swiftly behind him. They are too late and the Tardis vanishes from the surface of the dying planet.  


The Doctor falls to his knees, and clutches at the sand, raising it up it slips through his fingers.


                        THE DOCTOR (Cont’d)

              What have I done?                    



              It’s gone Doctor… The

              Tardis has gone.       


                        THE DOCTOR

              Worse than that… It’s

              in the hands of Skar.





                        THE DOCTOR

              A prisoner, but now

              free… Free to kill





The Tardis materialises in a forest clearing, and the door creaks open, and the dark mass of energy seeps through the door. It drifts passed tall skeletal trees and moves purposely through the night.




Moonlight passes shadows across the vast plains of stone. A shovel digs deep into the soil behind a gravestone, and the dirt is lifted from its place, and scattered to one side. The spade makes another hole and the digging continues.


The moon passes behind a cloud and darkness sweeps rapidly across the cemetery.     


In the distance there is a glowing lamplight moving amongst the graves, and JACK MURPHY a stocky man dressed in a long grey military coat slumps down behind the tombstone. His battered black boots scrape away at the dirt, as he pulls his knees to his chest and drags a large sack to his side. The man’s face is scarred and burned and one eye is white and sightless. His skin is unshaven and his long black hair is dirty and matted. He remains silent, and closes his eyes.




The lantern passes from left to right, throwing shadows over the graves. JIM THE NIGHT WATCHMAN continues his search of the grounds. He is a young man, not far past twenty, he is tall, pale and somewhat malnourished, and he wears a long cape around his shoulders.


The moon moves from behind the clouds, and the black shape oozes across the ground towards him. Jim spins around and shines his lantern. He can see a shadowy torso, its head and shoulders cast over a nearby tombstone, but the carved inscription has faded.



              Anyone there?


The moon falls behind the clouds once again, and Jim spins around, the boy is sweating. He can sense a presence.


He turns once more and gazes down at his feet, something black and twisted is rolling around them, and he steps backwards.


The dark entity begins to rise in front of him, and Jim stands motionless, in awe. Head and shoulders black as pitch form before him, and the being stands tall, a giant in the dark. The Night Watchman raises his lantern towards a featureless face.


Two white eyes open wide in front of him, and a large mouth lined with blood red teeth tears open. Jim drops his lantern as the entity surges toward him. The glass shatters and the gaslight goes out.   




A bloodcurdling scream echoes across the graveyard, Murphy hugs his knees and bows his head. Silence falls all is quiet. He raises his head and gazes over the top of the tombstone.


The moon passes through the clouds once more, and bathes the cemetery in eerie light.


The man stands up slowly and picking up his sack and shovel, he moves carefully through the sea of stone.  




The Assistant gazes at her arm, it is starting to blister, and the Doctor is nowhere in sight. She is standing in front of the Grandfather Clock. She looks at her own watch, and shakes her head.  



              Doctor? You in there?


The hands on the clock move to twelve and it begins to chime. The Assistant steps back.


                        ASSISTANT (Cont’d)

              It’s still the wrong



The Doctor steps out from inside the clock.


                        THE DOCTOR




              Needs adjusting.


The Doctor runs his Sonic Screwdriver over the hands of the clock.


                        THE DOCTOR

                   (Ignoring her)

              Yes. I’m sure it does.



              So the clock works.


                        THE DOCTOR


              Think ahead, if you can.



              It’s a clock.


                        THE DOCTOR

              No, it’s not just a clock.

              It’s a time travel machine,

once broken, now repaired.



              So we can leave? Go home?



                        THE DOCTOR

              If home is 1861.  



              Not really, but at least we

can leave this dust bowl.


          THE DOCTOR

And I can chase down the




              Who’s the enemy?


                        THE DOCTOR

              Veron Skar… A mass murderer,

              a Time Lord... Taken to the

              furthest point of regeneration

              and trapped in mind, inside

              a time cell... Blasted out

              into the furthest reaches of





              Oh. I see… So lets go,

              I’m not working on my

              tan you know.


                        THE DOCTOR

              The clock will only carry                                 one.



              Oh, so that means what?


                        THE DOCTOR

              That means… That means

simply that I have to come

back for you.



              Brilliant... How long will

              I have?


                        THE DOCTOR

              Estimated time, before this

              planet falls into the sun,

              roughly put, at a guess,

              four or five days at most.



              That’s not looking very

              good for me is it?


The Doctor shrugs his shoulders, and frowns. The Assistant rubs the blister on her arm.


                        THE DOCTOR

              Well, let’s not worry too

              much... I will come back.



              Can I have a hug?


                        THE DOCTOR

              Yes… If it helps…


The Doctor looks uncomfortable, and gives the young woman a hug.                                             




The walls are lined with shelves, jars of medicine and brightly coloured liquids. Books on anatomy are stacked upon the wooden panels of a high cabinet. Jars containing fungi, and mould stand separately on another shelf, and human organs in sterile liquid are hidden away from the gaslight. A large plinth stands in one corner, inside the glass container that is resting upon it is a GLASS HEART, intricately designed, sculpted with the deepest knowledge of how the organ functions, there are valves, arteries and veins that are interwoven in a maze of twisting vessels.


The body of Jim the Night Watchman is laid out upon a slab, he has been stripped to the waist, and the man’s eyes are closed.


Murphy stands in the background, his head bowed, his hands crossed in front of him.


DR BALTHUS CRAWLEY is a young man, late thirties and he has deep blue eyes, and long blond hair. A stethoscope hangs around his neck. He is dressed in a white high collared shirt, a black cravat, with a diamond pin pressed into the material and a dark waistcoat, and grey pin striped trousers.         


Dr Crawley raises the dead man’s eyelids, and sighs.



                        DR CRAWLEY


              What happened Jack?



              Don’t know Dr Crawley…

              He cried out… Died.


                        DR CRAWLEY

              A young man, like this?

              His heart must’ve failed

              him, I need to know why…             



              You going to butcher him?


                        DR CRAWLEY

              Dissect Mr Murphy,

              I’m not a butcher.



              What did him in?


Dr Crawley looks sad, and lifts a handkerchief from his waistcoat, and wipes his eyes.


                        MURPHY (Cont’d)

              He’s got no next of kin.


                        DR CRAWLEY

              That does not devalue him.

              I don’t enter into a body

              without respect for who

              they are…



You’re near to family. He’s

yours near enough.


                        DR CRAWLEY

              So young… In a few years time

              I could’ve saved him… Life is

              cruel…                                                    (Frowning)

              Jim is not a sacrifice Jack… 



              Never said he were.

              But you’re the local

              butcher, you do them

              autopsy things.    

                        DR CRAWLEY

              Those autopsy things

Jack?… Please…

     (Lowers his eyes)           

              I look for the meaning

              of death… I don’t cut

              and scar the flesh for




              Death is death… Seen it,

lived in them trenches

              with it, used to it by now…


                        DR CRAWLEY

              The war ways heavy on you…  



              Soldiers serve their leaders, 

we trust them, no matter, 

that’s duty… You’re educated,

you know best.


          DR CRAWLEY

You’re a good man Jack Murphy.

We’ll let him rest tonight,

we all deserve a rest. 




The Grandfather Clock materialises in the forest, and penetrates the ground, the dust rises and falls, and the door swings open.


The Doctor steps out through the door, and walks slowly through the towering skeletal trees. He approaches a clearing, and he can see the vast cemetery sweeping out in front of him. 




ROBERT is eleven years old, and he is seated upon a gravestone, he is dressed in grey shorts and a jumper, and he is sketching in a book. The initials on the front of the book are ‘R L B S’. The boy is drawing a pirate ship, in the background he has already sketched a large lighthouse.


The Doctor strolls casually into the graveyard, and ignores the boy. He sees pieces of broken glass at the base of a tombstone and crouches down to examine it.

The boy colours in the Jolly Roger on the flag of his pirate ship, leaving the skull and crossbones white, and the flag behind it black.


The Doctor looks up at the boy.


                        THE DOCTOR

                    (Smiling broadly)

              Strange place for a young

              boy to be. A graveyard?  



                   (Scottish accent)

              Is it? I look out of place?

              Looking at your shoes. You

              don’t look right either.


The Doctor smiles and gazes down at his trainers.


                        THE DOCTOR

              You’ve got a sharp eye.


The Doctor stands up, and walks over to the young boy and stands behind him.


                        THE DOCTOR (Cont’d)

              And a sharp imagination.



              Just drawing stuff.


              It’s very early morning…

              What’re you doing here?


                        THE DOCTOR

              Pirates and lighthouses?



              Two sides of the same coin…

              One good, one bad... All

              connected by the sea. Didn’t

              answer my question.


                        THE DOCTOR

              I’m passing through, I’m

              looking for someone. You?



              Jim, he’s the Night

              Watchman, I was supposed

              to meet up with him. I’m

              Robert who are you?


The Doctor walks back to the tombstone where the broken glass has fallen. He crouches down again. 


                        THE DOCTOR

              Broken glass? Someone's

              been here… Did Jim carry

              a lantern?



He watches over the

dead… He always does.


                        THE DOCTOR

              Grave robbers?


                         ROBERT                                         We’re near Edinburgh, yes…                                But not since 1832, that

don’t happen no more.


                        THE DOCTOR

              Burke and Hare?



              Long time ago that.


                        THE DOCTOR

              I know… Long before the

broken glass.     




The body upon the slab begins to sprout white hairs. It grows out from Jim’s lifeless flesh, and starts to envelope him. Bursting upwards in silken strands it falls down upon his body and crawls like wire across his lifeless flesh.




The Doctor and Robert stroll across a wide open plain, in the distance is a large country mansion. 


                        THE DOCTOR

              So tell me more about




He has no family. He

stays with Dr Balthus

Crawley most of the time.


                        THE DOCTOR

              Dr Balthus Crawley?…



              Creepy Crawley the villagers

              call him, he’s odd. Think

              he’s from London, if not God

knows where? No one likes him

that much. He’s rich though,

and he’s always been kind to me.


                        THE DOCTOR

              Why is he odd?



              He’s different. He doesn’t

belong somehow…


Robert looks the Doctor up and down, and his eyes are strongly focused on the Doctor’s trainers.


                        ROBERT (Cont’d)

              Where did you get those

              Shoes from?

                   (Stares unblinking at the Doctor)

Are you looking for something?   


                        THE DOCTOR

              Something odd is a good

start Robert, and I’m 

              always somewhere amidst

              things that don’t belong.

                   (Grins oddly)

          I normally fit right in…




Crawley descends the staircase and Murphy follows behind carrying a gas lantern. Once they have reached the bottom of the stairs their expressions change to shock and awe.


Crawley walks towards the slab on which the body of young Jim has been placed. Murphy follows slowly behind, his eyes fixed and unblinking.


The corpse is encased in a silk like substance and it has woven itself around the body over and over again.


Murphy looks into the face of Dr Crawley and his expression is vague, and confused.


Crawley gazes down at the wrapped corpse and slides a stethoscope from his jacket. He leans forward and places it against the chest of the dead man and listens.



              What’s going on?


                        DR CRAWLEY

              I don’t know, but

              he’s alive again…



              Jim’s dead.


Murphy steps nervously back, and Dr Crawley stares up at his colleague his blue eyes are watering.


                        DR CRAWLEY

              His heart’s beating.



              He’s dead though…


                        DR CRAWLEY

              He was… Yes… He was…

              But not now…



              You’re the doctor…

              You got the answers.


                        DR CRAWLEY

              I’m sure I’ll find

              the answer… It just

needs thinking about.


The doorbell begins to ring. Dr Crawley looks up his companion, and Murphy nods his head.   




Robert and the Doctor are standing upon the doorstep of Dr Crawley’s mansion. Robert pulls the rope once more, and the bell rings again.


The door opens and Murphy appears in the archway.



              Morning Robert.


Murphy looks the Doctor up and down suspiciously, but the Doctor simply smiles goofily at the man.



                   You seen him? I'm looking

             for Jim.



              Who’s your friend?


The Doctor reaches forward and shakes Murphy’s hand.


                        THE DOCTOR

              I’m the Doctor.



              Doctor of what?   


                        THE DOCTOR


              Just the Doctor.




              Jim’s not well.



              Where is he?


                        THE DOCTOR

              Can we come in? Have a cup

of tea?



              We’re busy…



                        THE DOCTOR

              Busy doing what?




              That’s none of your



Dr Crawley calls out from behind Murphy.


                        DR CRAWLEY   

              Jack, let them in,

              and send them to my



Murphy looks annoyed, and glares at the Doctor. 




              Looks like he’ll see

              you after all.




A large oak desk stands at the centre of the room. Bookcases line the walls, a vast library of medical science, and literature. Gas lamps bathe the room with a subtle light.   


The Doctor stands with his hands behind his back, his eyes scanning the many different titles. 


Robert is seated in front of the desk, and he is drawing in his book. The Doctor slides out a book on human anatomy, and flicks quickly through the pages. 


                   THE DOCTOR

              It seems our host

              is quite a scholar.


The door opens and Dr Crawley walks into the room. He smiles at the Doctor, and the Doctor returns the smiles, and then slips the book back onto the shelf.


Dr Crawley sits down behind his desk, and Robert closes his initialled sketchbook and looks up at the man seated opposite.


                        DR CRAWLEY

              Good day to you both… Now

is there a problem?

The Doctor remains gazing up at the books upon the shelf, his hands held behind his back.


                        THE DOCTOR

              What’s your field? If you

don’t mind me asking.


                   DR CRAWLEY

          I’m an anatomist,

          a virologist, and

          you’re the Doctor?

          You don’t have a name?                    

Robert looks over at the Doctor, who has his back to both Dr Crawley and the boy. 


                        THE DOCTOR

              None to speak of…


                        DR CRAWLEY

              What brings you here Doctor?

Where are you from?


                        THE DOCTOR


Oh, from here and there.


You live here alone? No

               Housekeeper? Wife?


                        DR CRAWLEY

              Murphy assists me… Wife?


              Good Lord no… Who would          

              have me?


                        THE DOCTOR

              What makes you say that?


                        DR CRAWLEY

              My time is dedicated to

              my journey, my cause. I’m

on a path of discovery Doctor… 

              not easily explained and

not easily accepted by

others… Hence my isolation

here, away from the world.


              Excuse me for sounding

melancholy, I’m not at all.

I’m just a seeker that’s all…

                        THE DOCTOR

              Oh… That’s all is it?…




              I’m looking for Jim…

              Murphy said he was sick.


                        DR CRAWLEY

              Sorry Robert… Very sick.


                        THE DOCTOR

              What’s his symptoms?


                        DR CRAWLEY

              Hard to say…


                        THE DOCTOR

              Do you need a second



                        DR CRAWLEY

              My opinion is enough…

Would you like some tea?


The Doctor turns around quickly and glares at Dr Crawley.


                        THE DOCTOR

              No thank you…


                        DR CRAWLEY

              He’s isolated, to avoid

contagion… Murphy found him lying in

 the graveyard, naturally he

 brought him to me…



 Why was Murphy in

 the graveyard?    


                        DR CRAWLEY

              Why all these questions

              Doctor? Are you a policeman?


                        THE DOCTOR

              Is this a police matter?    


Robert bites his lip, and looks nervous.


                        DR CRAWLEY

              I’m a very busy man Doctor.

   I came to this isolated place

              to avoid prying eyes. 


                        THE DOCTOR

              What’re you researching?


                        DR CRAWLEY   

Anthrax, Tuberculosis Bassilus.

Connection between cattle hair and

milk temperature for transmission

of the Viruses. I’m also working

on enzymes and the curative components

of mould. I’m isolating bacterium that can

be adapted to cure all number of ailments.


                        THE DOCTOR

              Extraordinary. It sounds like you’re

ahead of your time. Dr Balthus

Crawley? I’ve not heard of you…


                        DR CRAWLEY

              My findings have not yet been

released to the world Doctor, and

that is only a fragment of my

              research. I’m also experimenting

with artificial hearts and

              electricity… I can say no more.


                        THE DOCTOR

              In 1861? What do you know

              about the human heart?


                        DR CRAWLEY

              It’s a very delicate, but

              complex organ. I believe

              that I’m constructing a device

that may replace, or even could

be implanted into a failing heart…

Stimulating it by electricity,

thus helping to keep the organ pumping.


                        THE DOCTOR


              It’s a brilliant idea… I

              am genuinely impressed by

              your scientific knowledge…  


                        DR CRAWLEY

              Thank you Doctor…

                    THE DOCTOR

(Smiles uneasily)

              Then logically you should

have a place in history?


                        DR CRAWLEY

                   (Sighs heavily)

Outside interference does not

help me Doctor. Your presence   

              for example, slows me down. I

              need to be alone… I’m unknown                                  at present and wish to work in

peace… When my findings are

confirmed then please do ask me

questions, but only then…



              What about Jim?


                        DR CRAWLEY


As soon as there is any

              change in his condition

              I will inform you. Now,

please allow Mr Murphy to

escort you to the door.


Dr Crawley stares into the Doctor’s wide bulging eyes, but no smiles are exchanged between the two men.




The door is slammed shut, and the Doctor and Robert stroll away from the building. The sun has fallen behind black rain clouds, and the sky has darkened.



              Storms coming…


                        THE DOCTOR

              Something bad will

              happen here… It has to.



              What do you think is 

              wrong with Jim?


                        THE DOCTOR

                   (To himself)

There might be a connection…

              I just have to find out.


              Connection to what?


                        THE DOCTOR

Dr Balthus Crawley appears

to be a genius. His ideas

are way beyond his time…




              But this is his time…            


                        THE DOCTOR

              I need to get back inside…

I think he’s in danger…




I can help you with that.




There are two panelled wooden doors at the back of the mansion and they are set horizontally above ground and are blocking the entrance to the cellar.    


A large padlock fastens the cellars two doors together at its centre. Leaning against the wall beside the cellar door is Murphy’s shovel, and Jim’s broken glass gas lamp.    

The Doctor narrows his eyes, and gazes at the dried mud and grass hanging from the shovel. 


                        THE DOCTOR

              Someone’s been digging,

              and Murphy was in the

              graveyard when he found

              young Jim.


The Doctor slides his Sonic Screwdriver from inside his overcoat, and passes it over the padlock.



              Do you think that they’re

              grave robbing?


Robert gazes down at the strange device, he looks fascinated.


                        ROBERT (Cont’d)

              What’s that?


                        THE DOCTOR

              A Sonic Screwdriver.





What’s sonic mean?


The lock clicks open, and the Doctor slides the screwdriver back into his coat.


                        THE DOCTOR



The Doctor lifts open the doors, and gazes down into the darkness. He looks back at Robert and smiles.


                        THE DOCTOR (Cont’d)

              Wait here Robert…

              If I don’t return

              within an hour go

              to the police.




I’ll come and look

              for you…


                        THE DOCTOR



Do as I say, go for

help… Otherwise we

might both be lost.


              Shut the doors behind me.




A stepladder leads downwards, and the Doctor descends each wooden rung extremely cautiously. 


He finds himself standing in a small room. A large wine rack stands in the corner, filled with vintage red. He approaches the rack and slides out a bottle. The Doctor blows the dust from the label.


                        THE DOCTOR

              French Vintage…  1814…


Very good year… I think I

shared a glass of this with

Napoleon… Or was that



The Doctor slides the wine back onto the rack, and looks down at his feet. There is a large wooden box resting against the wall.


The Doctor bends down and removes the lid. His eyes flicker uneasily as he lifts a human skull from inside it. 




Dr Crawley is leaning back in his chair and he is resting his polished shoes upon the desk. The man is drinking from a large brandy glass.  Murphy is standing in front of him, his back to Dr Crawley, leaning against the desk his arms folded.



              That Doctor was trouble.


                        DR CRAWLEY

              We’ve done nothing wrong.



              Only dug up a body or two

when it suited you.                                 

                        DR CRAWLEY

              The discoveries I’m

              making justify that.   



              If you say so… All a bit

              ghoulish though…


                        DR CRAWLEY

              It has to be done… I need 

those bodies for my work…

I will save lives Jack, mend

broken hearts, cure diseases.



Hope I’m there to see it… If

it’s not for fame and fortune…        


          DR CRAWLEY

Saving life is worth more

than money Jack… But we all

need money, without it I

can’t continue my research…


Can you go and check our

patient please?


Murphy opens his overcoat and two pistols are sticking out of his trousers.


                        DR CRAWLEY (Cont’d)

              Guns Jack?



              I’m an old soldier,         

              always known when

              it’s time to carry

              a weapon or two…


                        DR CRAWLEY

              I don’t approve of guns…


You know that…



     Only use them in defence…

     Even you can’t be against





The Doctor pushes open a side door, and walks into the dimly lit laboratory. His eyes scan the contents of the room. He observes the Glass Heart, and the body lying wrapped in silk upon the slab.


He takes a deep breath and approaches the mummified corpse.


                        THE DOCTOR

              I was right… I knew

              I was right…


The Doctor is struck over the back of the head with the handle of a gun, and he collapses twitching to the floor.  







Robert is seated beside the door. He looks at his watch, and hugs his knees to his chest.




              It’s been an hour.


He stands up and lifts the doors of the cellar and looks down into the dark.


                        ROBERT (Cont’d)


              Doctor? You there?               




The body inside the silk like woven hair begins to wriggle slowly like a maggot, and two splits form at its shoulders.




The Doctor wakes up and discovers that he is tied to a chair. His ankles bound to each leg, and his wrists fastened to the chair’s arms.


Dr Crawley is standing in front of him, and Murphy is leaning against the wall behind him polishing his pistol with an old rag.


                        DR CRAWLEY

              Breaking into someone’s

              house is against the

              law Doctor.


                        THE DOCTOR


              Did you have to hit

              me quite so hard?


Murphy shrugs his shoulders and grins.


                        DR CRAWLEY

              So you’ve seen young Jim?


                        THE DOCTOR

              That thing in your cellar

              isn’t Jim. You need to untie

              me and allow me to dispose of it.

                        DR CRAWLEY

              Certainly not. I’m more

              likely to turn you over

              to the police. Why shouldn’t



                        THE DOCTOR

              Because you’re still

              digging up bodies.

              A pretty grim hobby

              don’t you think?


Murphy stops polishing his pistol, and briefly points it at the Doctor.


                        DR CRAWLEY

              I’ve never approved of

              grave robbing… The dead

              should be left in peace.


                        THE DOCTOR

              But you’re still doing it…


                        DR CRAWLEY

              What about you Doctor?

              Breaking into my house,

              hardly honourable behaviour.

              Are you seeking to steal

              my work? 


                        THE DOCTOR


Oh don’t be so naïve.


                        DR CRAWLEY

              Then tell us the truth…


                        THE DOCTOR

              Are you familiar with

the works of H G Wells?…


The Time Machine? The War

Of the Worlds?


                   DR CRAWLEY

              No Doctor… I’ve never heard

of any of that… So what can

              you tell me that I don’t

              already know?



                        THE DOCTOR

              You’re an educated man?…


              Of course it’s 1861…

              H G wells won’t be born

              for another five years…


Dr Crawley looks back at Murphy, and the old soldier looks baffled and shakes his head. Dr Crawley looks back at the Doctor.


                        DR CRAWLEY

              You’re a strange man Doctor…

              Possibly a lunatic, but I’ve been    

              called that myself… So I’m no judge.


                        THE DOCTOR

              What you have in your cellar is

an alien life form.


                        DR CRAWLEY

              Alien? Alien in what way?


          THE DOCTOR

If you prefer, it’s a large and

highly dangerous bacteria. What’s

growing inside that cocoon is

more dangerous than Anthrax, or

any other virus you can think of…              


                        DR CRAWLEY

              I see.


                        THE DOCTOR


              No you don’t see. You

              won’t have your place in

              history Dr Crawley if

              you don’t let me destroy it.  


                        DR CRAWLEY

              You could be trying to

              trick me Doctor. If

              Jim is carrying a new

plague I would like to be

the one who discovers it.


                        THE DOCTOR


              You’re thinking backwards

              rather than forwards.

                        DR CRAWLEY

              Perhaps I know too much… But

I still have more to learn





The sun is beginning to descend. Robert and CONSTABLE BILL JACKSON are moving quickly down a country lane lined with tall trees on either side.


Bill Jackson is a large framed man, with a big bushy black moustache and a round belly. His uniform is immaculate, and the Silver Star on his helmet is highly polished.   


                        CONSTABLE JACKSON


Why he wants to live

              so far out, I just

              don’t know. Some mad

scientist… I’d of used

my bicycle, but you

wouldn’t of kept up.



              You don’t know the way.


                        CONSTABLE JACKSON

              No, that might’ve posed

              a problem. My wife knows the

way, and it’s stew tonight… So

 this Doctor broke into Crawley’s




              He said he had good reason.

              I’m worried about Jim,

              something isn’t right.


                        CONSTABLE JACKSON

              Never good reason for that

              lad, a man’s house is his

              own private kingdom. No man

              has a right to enter there

              without permission. No woman

              neither… Although my wife would

              thinking about it…






The Doctor is leaning back and looking up at the ceiling. He lowers his head and looks across the room.


Murphy is eating an apple and his one good eye is staring at the prisoner.



              You like fruit?


Murphy offers the Doctor his half eaten apple.


                   THE DOCTOR

              Not especially.   



              Fruit is good.


Murphy continues to eat the apple.


                        THE DOCTOR

              Aren’t you worried that

              what I’m saying might

              be true?          



              I’m just an old soldier.


              Never argue with your

              superiors Doctor. I just

              do as I’m told. 


                        THE DOCTOR

              You fought in the Crimean




              Back in fifty four. Got

              through it… The leaders

always know best.


                   THE DOCTOR

              Oh, so you’re not familiar

              with the Charge of the Light





              I’ll go check on the patient.


                        THE DOCTOR

              You do that, but be careful

Murphy. If Jim wakes up, get

out and lock up that cellar.



              I’ll do that, and I’ll be first                      to the front door.




Murphy descends the staircase, and raising his gas lamp, he passes the Glass Heart on the plinth, and cautiously approaches the wrapped body upon the slab.


The body starts to wriggle once more, and the white substance starts to tear away from the corpse.


Murphy draws a pistol from his belt, and steps back. Jim’s gaunt body is revealed through the dim light. Jim’s skin is covered in blisters his sunken face is pockmarked, and his entire body is tinged with shades of yellow and black.


Jim turns his head slowly towards Murphy and opens his eyes, and they have turned completely white. Jim opens his mouth and smiles unnaturally. The man’s teeth are dark and discoloured.         


Murphy points his gun at Jim.



              In God’s name… What’s

              become of you?         


Jim leaps forward his arms outstretched. Murphy fires his pistol.




A second gunshot echoes through the study door. Dr Crawley, gulps down his brandy and stands up slowly. He slides open the desk drawer and slides out a small silver pistol, and quickly loads the weapon.




Murphy staggers up the staircase into the open arms of Dr Crawley.




Jim… It’s not him

              no more… I killed

              it… Got to get out…   


He pushes past Dr Crawley, and flees up the stairs. Dr Crawley draws his silver pistol and strolls down the steps.


He finds Jim’s corpse lying face down upon the floor, and he gives it a gentle shove with the tip of his shoe.


Dr Crawley is unaware of the dark entity rising from the floor behind him. The being’s eyes flick open, lifeless and marble white.




The door flies open, and Murphy rushes inside. In the distance Dr Crawley screams out in pain…


The Doctor is still tied to the chair, and he looks up into Murphy’s frightened face.


Murphy draws a large knife from his coat and holds it up in front of the Doctor. The old soldier bends down and starts to cut through the ropes that have bound the Doctor’s ankles to the chair legs.



              We have to get out…


He slices free one of the Doctor’s legs.


                        MURPHY (Cont’d)

              The Devil’s come for us.


The Doctor gazes up over Murphy’s head.       


                        THE DOCTOR

              Murphy, I think he’s

              behind you…                                                   

Murphy stands up and turns around. Dr Crawley is standing in the door arch. He looks very pale and the man’s eyes are closed. Dr Crawley smiles oddly, and his eyes flick open. They are completely white.  



               Dr Crawley… Are you ill?


Dr Crawley draws a black leather gloved hand from behind his back. He is holding a black cane with a bulbous silver handle.


Dr Crawley starts to giggle, and laugh in a rather demented way. He screams hideously. Mad eyed, he charges forward with the cane held high.


The Doctor looks away, but he hears a sickening thud, and when he opens his eyes again, he observes Murphy lying face down upon the floor, eyes bulging, the man is dead.




Robert and Constable Jackson have arrived at the door to Dr Crawley’s mansion. The policeman rings the doorbell, and steps back gazing up at the buildings high windows.


                        CONSTABLE JACKSON

              Nobody in… I’m hungry now…



              There must be. Ring again…


Constable Jackson pulls the chain a second time.


                        ROBERT (Cont’d)

              The cellar door is

              still open…   




The bell outside rings again. The Doctor remains tied to the chair, he looks down at Murphy’s body, and then gazes up at Dr Crawley who has his back to him and is gazing out through the window at the moonlight.


                        THE DOCTOR

              Didn’t take much time for

you to go back to your old                 ways did it Skar?


                        DR CRAWLEY - SKAR

                   (His voice changed)

              Time is never an issue.

                        THE DOCTOR

              The man your controlling

              is not an insect… He’s greater

              than the people you like to



          DR CRAWLEY - SKAR           

               But nothing to me?… He means

nothing to me…   


                        THE DOCTOR

              You’re intelligent Skar…

Brilliant even… But you’re

right, you and he, are nothing

like each other.


                        DR CRAWLEY - SKAR

              I’ve been imprisoned for

              centuries… Now I have the

              Tardis, I can travel through

time and select my victims

anywhere I choose…  


                        THE DOCTOR

              No wonder the Time Lords took

away your body.


          DR CRAWLEY – SKAR

But I have another one,

and allies for my cause…

I shall return to the

dead planet and release

the other captives…


                        THE DOCTOR

              Your cause?…


Why Veron? What do you gain

              from murder?…


                        DR CRAWLEY – SKAR

              That’s fairly simple



Dr Crawley - Skar turns around, and his white eyes glare at the Doctor. He smiles grotesquely. 


                        DR CRAWLEY – SKAR

              I enjoy it… Destroying

              simplistic organisms…

              It’s mere sport to me…


                        THE DOCTOR

              Humanity is a valuable

              species, far greater in

mind than you’ll ever be.


                   DR CRAWLEY – SKAR

              So I make sport of them?

They’re nothing Doctor. I

don’t understand why you

always took such interest

in them. 


                        THE DOCTOR

              You’re not an individual

              who has a desire to understand

              anything Skar. Do you intend

to kill me?

                        DR CRAWLEY – SKAR

              Oh no… You and your assistant

              will play host to the other

              entites. We can be one big

              happy family, and Share our

lives together… How human…




Robert and Constable Jackson walk towards the cellar door. As they approach, the wooden panels lift up, and Dr Dr Crawley – Skar ascends the ladder. He is wearing a large top hat, and a black cape hangs around his suited shoulders. He is carrying his black silver handled cane.


Dr Crawley – Skar stands motionless beside the cellar door. His expression is odd and his skin looks even paler in the moonlight. His white eyes glare at Robert and the policeman.


Constable Jackson pats the boy on the stomach with the palm of his hand.


                   CONSTABLE JACKSON

              Wait here Robert, I’ll

              address the gentleman.                         

Constable Jackson strides forward and stands face to face with Dr Crawley – Skar.


                        CONSTABLE JACKSON (Cont’d)

              This lad has concerns about

              two friends of his…

Constable Jackson stares into the man’s ghastly white eyes.


                        CONSTABLE JACKSON (Cont’d)

              What’s wrong with your eyes?

Dr Crawley – Skar looks across at Robert, and he begins to giggle and chuckle. Robert steps back.


The cane is raised and Constable Jackson has no time to react as he is struck heavily against the side of the head.


Robert watches the man fall, and gazes fearfully at the smiling murderer. The boy shakes his head and runs away.




Robert flees into the graveyard and crouches down behind a tombstone, he is breathing heavily, and the sweat is pouring from his forehead, he tucks his knees into his chest and hugs them tightly.


Dr Crawley – Skar strolls into the graveyard. His pale skin and white eyes glow in the moonlight. He grins evilly and gazes about himself.


                        DR CRAWLEY – SKAR

              Robert? Where are you

              my boy?


Dr Crawley - Skar continues to search the graveyard.


Robert presses his lips together and tries to stop his body from shaking.


                        DR CRAWLEY – SKAR (Cont’d)

              Don’t be shy… It’s

              your turn to die



Robert closes his eyes tightly, as the moon passes behind a cloud and the graveyard falls into darkness. 


                        DR CRAWLEY – SKAR (Cont’d)

              I’ll be in your dreams boy…

              I’ll be back for you.


Robert remains as still as he can be, and slowly he opens his eyes, and the tears run down his cheeks.


Nervously he pushes himself back on to his feet, and keeping his body low, he runs back through the graveyard.




The Doctor is still seated in the chair. His wrists remain bound and he looks down at Murphy’s knife, and tries to avoid gazing into Murphy’s lifeless face.


                        THE DOCTOR

               This isn’t going well.


The door bursts open, and Robert runs into the room. He is sweating and tearful. He shakes his head in horror when he sees Murphy’s body.


                        THE DOCTOR (Cont’d)

              Robert, thank goodness.


Robert picks up the knife and begins to cut through the ropes.



              He’s killed Constable

              Jackson too, and Jim

              I should reckon.              


He slices the Doctor free of his bonds.


                        ROBERT (Cont’d)

              Why didn’t he kill you?


The Doctor stands up and shakes his arms and legs in an attempt to regain his circulation.


                        THE DOCTOR

              Do you know where he is?


The Doctor bends down and rolls Murphy onto his back, and slides a pistol out of his belt.



              He chased me across

              the cemetery.


                        THE DOCTOR

              He’s going back to the

              dead planet. I need

              to mix up a little

              cocktail before I go.




Dr Crawley – Skar opens the Tardis door and smiles, he steps inside.


The blue box begins to vanish from sight…




The Doctor mixes two colourful liquids together inside a test tube. He then tilts the tube sideways and slides the needle of a syringe into the substance and draws it inside the cylinder.


Robert is standing beside the Doctor, and he watches the process carefully.



              What’s that?


                        THE DOCTOR

              It’ll force that demon

              out of Dr Crawley… If

              I can inject it.



              It isn’t poison then?…


                        THE DOCTOR

              A chemical drug… Some

drugs are very powerful

Robert… You remember that…




The Tardis appears gradually upon the surface of the dead planet.


The Doctor’s Assistant is seated upon the sand next to the glass cylinders. Her head is bowed and her arms are covered in small red blisters. She hears the Tardis arriving and looks up. Her lips are dry and her face is bright red.





She stands up and watches as the door swings open, and a rather strange Victorian gentleman wearing a black top hat, black suit and cape steps out onto the steaming sand. 


                        ASSISTANT (Cont’d)

              Doctor have you regenerated?


Dr Crawley – Skar strides forward, sliding his cane from behind his back, he starts to walk towards the young woman.


As the man gets closer she can see him smiling coldly, and the oddness of his eyes. She bends down and begins to pick up the remaining cylinders and starts to run with them across the desert.




The Doctor opens the door to the Grandfather Clock and begins to slide inside. Robert watches as the man slips in through the panel. The Doctor smiles and looks back at the boy.


                        THE DOCTOR

              There’s only room for

one Robert… Don’t try

to follow…             


The Doctor slides his whole body inside, and Robert watches as the clock hands begin to rotate rapidly.


Robert watches as the clock begins to disappear.



              No you don’t…


Robert grabs the handle of the virtually transparent wooden door and pulls it open, and literally dives inside the clock.    


The Grandfather clock vanishes from the forest clearing…




The Assistant slips on the sand and the glass cylinders tumble into the dust. She attempts to gather them up once more, but a dark shadow falls over her.


She gazes back over her shoulder into the shadowed face of Dr Crawley – Skar. He smiles at her, his cold white eyes glaring down at her.


The man raises his cane and brings it crashing down. It cracks the container marked with the name ‘JAN LOUDEN’ He raises his cane again and shatters the cylinder completely.        


The dark entity rises from inside, and hovers like a cloud of rippling darkness behind Dr Crawley – Skar…

It gradually merges together and begins to take on a human shape…


The young woman drags her body backwards through the sand.


                        DR CRAWLEY – SKAR

              Take off the glasses

              so she may enter…           


The dark entities eyes open wide, they are white, and lifeless, cold and unwelcoming.


The Grandfather Clock begins to materialise behind Dr Crawley – Skar and the dark entity. So they turn their attention away from the helpless young woman.


Smoke is rising from the Grandfather Clock, and the hands are still spinning around rapidly. The Doctor climbs out through the panel, smoke billowing around him, he reaches inside and drags Robert to safety.


They run clear and dive face down into the sand, behind them the Grandfather Clock explodes into a billion pieces.    


The Doctor looks up, he can see Dr Crawley – Skar, the dark entity and his Assistant a short distance away. Sliding his hand inside his overcoat he slips out his goggles and places them over his eyes.


The Doctor stands up and lifts Robert from the sand, the young boy looks around. He looks completely bewildered by his new surroundings. 


                        THE DOCTOR

              I told you it could only

              carry one…


The Doctor slips his syringe from his coat, and slides out the gun from his belt.


                        THE DOCTOR (Cont’d)

              Now it’s a matter of

              life or death.


Robert looks back at the Tardis, and the Doctor slips out a key and hands it to the boy. Robert looks baffled.


                        THE DOCTOR (Cont’d)

              It’s a key to the blue

              box, now go…


The boy breaks into a run…  


Dr Crawley – Skar and the dark entity observe the boy, and forgetting the Doctor’s Assistant, they surge forward towards the Doctor.


The Doctor grips the syringe tightly, and stands his ground.


The Assistant gathers up the remaining cylinders and starts to arc around, her intention also to reach the Tardis.  


Dr Crawley – Skar screams at the Doctor, and raises his cane striking the Doctor across the right shoulder and knocking him to the floor. The Doctor drops his syringe and loses his grip upon his pistol as he falls clumsily into the sand.         


Robert is fumbling with the Tardis key and attempting to unlock the door. In his haste to get inside, he drops it into the sand.


The Doctor sits up and reaches for the syringe. He can see that Dr Crawley – Skar and the dark entity are almost upon the boy.


                        THE DOCTOR (Cont’d)

              Robert cover your eyes

              and don’t look at them!


Dr Crawley – Skar looks back at the Doctor and smiles horribly. Robert is on his knees the palms of his hands held tightly over his eyes. The dark entity is rolling around the boy.


                        DR CRAWLEY – SKAR

              Caring… That was always

              your weakness Doctor.


Dr Crawley – Skar raises his cane high above Robert’s head.


The Doctor grabs his pistol, and standing up he fires, striking Dr Crawley – Skar squarely in the back. The man drops his cane and falls to his knees.


The Doctor tosses the gun into the sand with a look of disgust on his face.


The entity possessing Dr Crawley, escapes through the man’s eyes. On leaving the mortally wounded man Dr Crawley falls sideways into the sand.


The two dark entities surge towards the Doctor and they both swirl angrily around him. The Doctor is simply staring at Dr Crawley’s lifeless body lying in the dust.


The Doctor opens his palm and drops the syringe by his feet.


Robert scrambles for the Tardis key and slips it into the keyhole. The Doctor’s Assistant reaches Robert’s side, and as the door is opened she bundles the boy through.


She looks back at the Doctor. The entities are still swirling around him, but he appears to be in a trance.



              Doctor run!


The Doctor snaps out of his trance and breaks into a run. The entities move swiftly behind him, but he seems to be keeping ahead of them.


The Doctor dives over Dr Crawley’s body, and through the open Tardis doors.


The Assistant slams the doors shut, only seconds before the entities have reached it.




The Doctor scrambles to his feet and moves swiftly to the control panel, he pulls several levers to activate the machine.


Robert is crouched in the corner, and the Doctor’s Assistant drapes a jacket around the shaking boy’s shoulders.


                        THE DOCTOR

              Brace yourselves… We’re

going forward in time.


The Assistant sits down beside the boy and wraps her arms around him.




The Tardis begins to vanish and the entities swirling around the blue box begin to fall away. The sky begins to blaze with churning flame, and the desert sand seems to roll with flaming embers, the dark entities and Dr Crawley’s body disintegrate, as a sea of molten fire consumes the dead planet.                          




The Tardis spins through belching jets of churning fire, as the dead planet becomes a ball of burning light and evaporates into the Sun.




The Doctor bows his head over the controls, and looks back at Robert and his Assistant. The Doctor’s expression is uncomfortably grim. 



              Are they dead?


                        THE DOCTOR


No… Although it may take

              them a few thousand years

              to break free of the Sun.



              Well that’s OK then…


                        THE DOCTOR


A few thousand years is

               nothing in my time.



              Still I saved a few cylinders

              from the planet.


                        THE DOCTOR

              But no one saved Dr Crawley.     


The Doctor looks down at Robert, the boy looks uncomfortable in his new surroundings.


                        THE DOCTOR (Cont’d)

              He couldn’t regenerate.

              Humans have glass hearts.

              So fragile… I’ve never killed

a good man before…                



              He didn’t look good to me…


                        THE DOCTOR


              What do you know? You

              didn’t know who he was

              and you never will. I

              sacrificed him to save

              you Robert…




              I’m sorry Doctor.


                        THE DOCTOR             

              This story goes no further…

              Keep me secret… Promise me




              I promise Doctor.


The Doctor jabs his finger towards Robert…


                        THE DOCTOR

              You make something of

              yourself Robert… You

owe it to me and you

owe it to Dr Balthus





The Tardis materialises in the graveyard. The door is opened and Robert steps out. The Doctor leans through the door, and looks glumly at the boy. 


                        THE DOCTOR

              I’ll be watching you Robert…

              Take care… Go home… Leave

              everything to the authorities.


The Doctor shuts the door and the Tardis begins to vanish into the ether.

Robert is left standing alone in the silent graveyard.




The candle flame has burned down, and the wax has formed solid patches on the back of the stacked books.


The Doctor stands at the foot of the sick man’s bed, and smiles sadly at his friend.




I did my best Doctor…

              Although, had Crawley

lived he might have cured

my Tuberculosis.


                        THE DOCTOR

              He would’ve done so much

              more than that…



              You seem so sad.


                        THE DOCTOR

              I saved you Robert, but

              maybe I changed history…

              If I’d never gone to that

              dead planet, then Dr Balthus

Crawley would’ve lived.     



              If you hadn’t shot him… He

              would’ve killed me…


                        THE DOCTOR

              I know… It’s been on my mind.



My death wasn’t meant to be…


              THE DOCTOR

     If I could’ve injected

     him with the serum… I

could’ve released him

from Skar’s control…   

              Saved his life…




              (Breathing heavily)

Have I disappointed

              you Doctor? I promise to

              do more…     


          THE DOCTOR

Of course not Robert… How

could you?




              I’m only forty four Doctor…


When I get better… You’ll

see my best work is yet to

come… So much more to do…

     (Breathing laboured)

So little time perhaps?…


                        THE DOCTOR

              Dr Crawley never completed

              his best work…

                   (Lowers his eyes)

              But your name will live

forever Robert…


The Doctor walks slowly to the bedside cabinet, and gazes down at the stacked books.


                        THE DOCTOR (Cont’d)

              But no one will ever

              know who I am… Or who

              Dr Balthus Crawley was…

              He’s simply forgotten.


He reaches down and lifts one of the books from the pile and turns it around and reads the title.




                        THE DOCTOR (Cont’d)

              But you Robert Louis Stevenson…


Your name will live forever…  













© Gavin Paul Carter 2011


To rate a story please login or sign up as a citizen.